It’s summer. It’s hot. It’s time for a new essay. Consequently, I’ve got a new essay out (or is it “up”?) at The Collapsar. It’s called “The Bass Guitar as a Mode of Being,” and it’s about that wonderful activity of playing the bass guitar. You might think there’s not much to say about playing the bass, but you would be wrong.
After the essay went up, a friend notified me of this old Kids in the Hall bit, which I hadn’t seen before (which is probably for the best; their jokes are better than mine).
And then, last week New Yorker writer Matthew Trammell had a piece about the musician Thundercat, and Trammell has some interesting things to say about the bass as well.
And finally, finally, though I am not in the market to acquire a new bass (sadly), if I were, and if I were dishing out bass-buying advice, I would first watch this video and then I would buy one of those Sire basses.
I’ve also got a review in the latest issue of The Quarterly Conversation. It covers Michael Bible’s novel Sophia, which I enjoyed, and which I sorted into the long line of literature that trails Barry Hannah. As a premise for the review, I argue that there is a Hannah tradition now. Hannah seems like one of those writers whose large, almost overbearing influence isn’t acknowledged in current literary criticism, while being constantly acknowledged among writers. Though perhaps there’s tons of discussion of this and I’m just not reading in the right places.
There wasn’t room in the review to mention Padgett Powell, but he is the preeminent Hannah writing today, perhaps even eclipsing Hannah himself. His sentences are beautifully ugly and create their own vernacular; he manages to write eloquently without slipping into a fussy, overly self-aware mode of high writing. I don’t know how he does it. It sounds like someone speaking but not in any way anyone has spoken before.
Another stray thought: the original Hannah was probably Beckett.
P.S. Adam Dorn is awesome.